AUSTRALIA DAY: Quiet achievers get rewards

TALLANGATTA recognised a stalwart electrician who does in-kind work for his community and a teenager who spends her free time putting together newspapers as its citizen and young citizen of the year yesterday.

The Upper Murray Horseman’s Association’s Tallangatta Campdraft was named event of the year for its November competition which attracted 250 riders and 1000 cattle and raised $1600 for men’s health.

Citizen of the year Gary Matheson, 70, has been working as an electrician in town for 50 years.

He’s been a Rotarian for 30 years and president of just about every sporting club.

“I only do what a lot of other people do. We’re the quiet achievers,” Mr Matheson said.

He has also been providing in-kind electrician work for sporting grounds and clubs.

“It’s part of doing things for other people. You don’t have to be taking all the time. Too many people want to take things and not give,” he said.

The father of one, whose wife Lee died nine years ago, hoped his recognition prompted others to volunteer to help their community.

“We should all try to be involved in the community. It’s the place we live in and we spend our life in and communicating with people is one of the great things,” he said.

Tallangatta teenager Samantha Maude, 17, was named the young citizen of the year; much to the Tallangatta Secondary College Year 12 student’s surprise.

“It was very nerve-wracking. I didn’t know I was getting it, but as soon as I heard the first few words they were reading I knew,” Samantha said.

Samantha was recognised for her work at the Tallangatta Herald for the past four years, as well as the Kiewa Gazette, and her work making quilts for premature babies.

The teenager spends about four hours a week outside school helping to create the papers by designing advertisements and conducting the occasional interview.

“You get the chance to design stuff and people comment back that they like it and I like all the good feedback you get,” she said.

Samantha thanked her teachers for her nomination.

Elsewhere in Towong Shire, Corryong show society volunteer Craig Sheather was named that town’s citizen of the year.

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